Real Draft 2 JOUR

University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign **We aren't endorsed by this school
JOUR 200
Oct 22, 2023
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Emily Smit Chris Evans JOUR 200 10 April 2023 Real 2 Draft: Profile of a Stranger Becoming A Lawer in the Army Kit Hammes joined the Army when they were 17 in 2009 as a paralegal. They wanted to see if they enjoyed the law before becoming a lawyer. Hammes uses they/them pronouns and is openly non-binary. Judge Advocate General (JAG) Administrative Lawyer Hammes leaned back and relaxed in their seat. Eager to start their interview, they shifted some papers around on their desk. Hammes learned how to proficiently be a paralegal and advocate for themselves while on deployment. "Immediately deploying meant I got to know what being a paralegal is supposed to be," Hammes said. Hammes laughed as they said they did not want to deploy when they first joined. Of course, Hammes deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, and it completely altered their
mindset on how they viewed the Army. "I wanted to be proficient and a subject matter expert in a particular area," said Hammes excitedly. This also sparked their interest in leaving the paralegal side and switching to become a JAG. Hammes transitioned from paralegal to lawyer when they decided to focus on building their career and their retirement. There are approximately 5,000 JAG lawyers in the Army and becoming an Army JAG is an extremely challenging goal to achieve. "One of the most important aspects that separate being an army lawyer compared to a civilian lawyer is it is a job we are encouraged to be fit for," said Hammes as they took a sip from their coffee cup. As a paralegal, there is less wiggle room to make changes. Hammes being a strong influence, wanted to be able to make changes for good. "Working with CPT Hammes has greatly influenced the office because they are very self-driven and bring a lot of diversity to the team," said Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Krupa, the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate.
In addition to working as a full-time lawyer Hammes is are also currently pursuing a yoga instructor degree to incorporate wellness into their life.
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